A Summary Report is the best way to unpack the success and progress of your projects. This report is used to give you key insights into "how" your project is going and looks at key statistics to help you evaluate your consultation.
Use this article to learn about the types of information you can expect to find on the Project Reports screen.
You can look at Reporting for your site as a whole, or make a specific selection looking at single projects or a range of projects over a certain time period.
Simply select the project/s and time period from the project selector to filter your results.
All data will be displayed according to the parameters you set here.
NOTE: The preset time frames (All time, Last 30 days, Last 7 days) only show data and submissions until the previous day 11.59pm. In order to show the most up-to-date data please use a custom time range ending today.
Once you have selected your projects you will notice the information on the project screen updates to give you insights about your selected project.
In the first section you will see a Visitors Summary including highlight statistics for your consultation.
Use these stats to understand how successful your project has been in terms of reach and awareness and also database growth.
You can also use the graphs to interrogate your data over the time period and toggle on and off different data including page views, visitors, visits and new registrations.
Visitors vs Visits Explained
When an anonymous visitor comes to your site for the very first time, we drop a cookie into their browser. Cookies allow us to determine if that particular browser has been used to visit your site before. We are NOT looking at IPs for your reporting.
With every visit that occurs to the site, we begin tracking that particular visitor by creating what is called a 'session'. Each session has a unique ID and lasts until 30 minutes of inactivity are observed. We figure that by then they have left your site and are doing something else. Within the 30 minutes, they could visit the site multiple times. If that happens, the count towards your visits will only receive a +1 from the initial visit. If they come back later and 30 minutes have passed, we will count that as another +1 for your visits while the visitor number only received a +1 overall.
This means that in theory, your amount of visits will ALWAYS be higher than your amount of visitors. It also means that the same person can contribute multiple counts to your visit’s number over the course of a day/week/month. If someone visits your site in the morning, at lunch and again in the afternoon in the same browser, they contribute +1 count to the visitor number and +3 to the visits. This happens because we start a new session for each visit with at least 30 minutes in-between.
This is the rule, but as always there are quite a few exceptions. The above does NOT necessarily apply if your visitor:
- Is a registered participant and logged in. In that case, we know who they are and it does not matter where they visit from.
- Has cookies disabled in their browsers (most people have them enabled).
- Deletes their browser’s history and/or cookies after having visited the site.
- Visits the site from different browsers on the same machine.
- Visits the site from different devices altogether. A visitor could be looking at your site from a computer at home, at work, from their tablet and from their phone. This would contribute at least +4 to your visitor’s count.
As you can see there are quite a few variables that can affect your visitor number, contributing to more than +1 even if it is the same person (or the opposite, when people share computers). This is why the visitor number should NEVER be interpreted as a count for unique individuals looking at your site, but only as an approximation.
While this is a lot to consider when you start analysing your numbers, be sure not to overthink this either. Over time, you will be able to interpret the data better and use it to gauge how much interest your projects have generated, rather than trying to determine individual visits. You will also be able to use relative numbers to compare projects with each other, for example by comparing the rate of Engaged participants, defining your own benchmarks.
Sources of Traffic
The next section shows you and overview of traffic sources to your selected projects. Use this section in the same way as the visitor summary data to toggle on and off your different data sources.
To learn more about traffics sources read our dedicated help article on Understanding Traffic Sources.
The Participant Summary allows you to look at a range of selected projects and compare the Aware, Informed and Engaged metrics between them.
Simply scroll through the three metrics on the left-hand column to reveal how each of your participants interacted with your projects. You can see these actions in the middle column.
The Top Projects on the right show you how effective your projects have been. As a rule of thumb: The higher the % of Informed or Engaged participants within a project the higher your conversion rate has been and the more successful your project can be considered. Of course there are exceptions to this rule.
For example, you might run a project that only aims to inform people and the actual engagement component is secondary. Hence, you wouldn't expect a high rate of engagement for that project.
Over time you should develop your own benchmarks and compare conversion rates with each other. It is usually better to compare relative numbers than absolute numbers.
You should also look at this report periodically to keep track of which of your projects are standing out.
Engagement Tools Summary
Finally, the Engagement Tools Summary section will give you more detail into types of engagement activities and information you have presented for your selected projects.
The tool summary will show you at a glance where your engagement has occurred. There is lots to discover here and we invite you to 'View Full Report' in your own time. You will be able to drill down and really dissect all comments and submissions you have received.
Information Widget Summary
The Information Widget Summary shows you how people became Informed and it tells you what content was particularly prominent and popular.
If you find that one of your documents has not been downloaded as much as you wished, maybe its time to place it more prominently and link to it.
Be careful not to read too much into some of this data however. For example a photo can be viewed without the participant clicking on it. The same is true for Key Dates.
Documents on the other hand can only be accessed by clicking on it which makes that a very strong number. However, note that we do not collect the IP addresses, hence we cannot be sure if a download was made more than once by a single participant.
All of what you see below can be downloaded in your preferred format. You can create a summarising report for all your projects or detailed project reports, containing details about everything, for up to 5 projects at the same time. The report you create will depend on your selection of projects and time. To obtain a summarising report for the entire site since launch, select all projects and 'All-time' as your time frame.
If you want a second pair of eyes looking at your data or if you have any questions, get in touch with us. We are looking forward to talking through your numbers and insights with you.